Transcript of Sermon
The uncertainly of human life was never more strikingly shown in this community than upon the memorable 17th day of September, 1862. The morning was calm and beautiful, and until noon nothing unusual occurred at the Allegheny Arsenal. It was pay day, and the noble Union girls who had toiled all the month, were rejoicing over the reception of the fruits of their labor. The shop had been swept, and among the leavings, some loose powder was scattered over the stony road winding around the beautiful grounds. A wagon was passing, when either the iron of the wheel or a horse's shoe struck fire. In an instant, a terrific explosion was heard, shaking the earth, and inflicting injury upon the surrounding buildings. Amidst a dense column of smoke and a bright sheet of flame, were seen fragments of the building mixed with portions of the human frame, raising high into the atmosphere, and then falling in a horrid shower all around.
Sermon Commemorative of the Great Explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal, at Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania on September 17th, 1862 preached by Rev. R. Lea pastor of the Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church, September 28, 1862